The good, bad for Tech defense against Miami


Not unlike the Clemson game a week ago, the Georgia Tech defense was knocked around early before recovering later in the Yellow Jackets’ 35-21 loss to No. 14 Miami. The overall results against a high-powered offense weren’t bad, but on this Saturday, not enough to win.

“We’ve just got to start faster, but overall, I think we did alright,” defensive tackle Patrick Gamble said. “I’m not too happy with the outcome, so we’ve just got to keep getting better.”

The good: While the Jackets never sacked quarterback Brad Kaaya, they did a better job than previous of pressuring the quarterback and forcing hurries. In particular, defensive end Antonio Simmons came off the edge to hurry Kaaya or knock him down.

The Jackets held Miami to 1-for-7 on third downs, far better than their season average of 48 percent and their best rate (14 percent) for a game against an FBS team since holding Boston College to 1 for 9 (11 percent) in 2012.

Particularly due to the defensive line plugging gaps, Miami running back Mark Walton gained only 44 yards on 15 carries, well below his season average of 134 yards per game.

Tech collected four three-and-outs from Miami, which came into the game averaging 8.3 yards per play (albeit against lesser competition), second in the country.

The bad: Miami was so effective on first and second downs, the Hurricanes didn’t often get to third down. On the Hurricanes’ three offensive scoring drives, Miami ran 21 plays to cover a combined 250 yards and never got to third down.

Needing to steal a possession and gain advantageous field position for the offense, Tech’s defense failed to create a turnover. In 311 defensive snaps this season, the Jackets have forced one fumble.

While Tech contained Walton, backup Joe Yearby punished the Jackets for 65 yards on just nine carries.

When Kaaya had time to throw, he was the accurate downfield passer that Tech coaches saw on game video, taking advantage of soft coverages for long completions. Out of 13 completions, Kaaya had five that went for 20 yards or more. Miami’s third-quarter touchdown drive – a critical response after Tech drew to within 28-21 – was accelerated by back-to-back 31-yard pass plays to open downfield receivers.

“I think in the first half, we were a little tentative and played soft,” coach Paul Johnson said. You’ve got to challenge guys.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

WATCH: Lakers fan sinks half-court shot to win $30K, tries to high-five team
WATCH: Lakers fan sinks half-court shot to win $30K, tries to high-five team

A Lakers fan sank an incredible half-court shot Monday night to win a $30,000 jackpot, then tried to celebrate with some of the players. Spoiler alert: It didn't work out. >> Read more trending news  Video of the hilarious moment before the fourth quarter of the Lakers-Spurs game quickly went viral, with tens of thousands of views on Twitter...
What Tevin Coleman said after the 23-20 win over Giants 
What Tevin Coleman said after the 23-20 win over Giants 

On touchdown run. “The back side was open, the line got the hole open, and I just busted through there.” On getting the run going. “You have to just stay with it. They are a great defense and they stopped a lot of the runs, but you have to stick with it and one is going to break open. That’s what we did.” On...
What Matt Ryan said after the 23-20 win over Giants 
What Matt Ryan said after the 23-20 win over Giants 

On getting the second win in a row. “I think it was huge for us to get the job done tonight. To inch our way closer to .500 is a positive for us. It was a tough win. It took all three phases all night. But I’m proud of the effort across the board. That showed up for 60 minutes. It was good for us and now a good chance for us to get some...
What the Falcons said after the 23-20 win over Giants 
What the Falcons said after the 23-20 win over Giants 

On the adjustments. “They were just sending pressure. They were coming off the edge and through the A-gap. Things like that. Double A (gap) blitz. They were trying to get Matt off his spot. Get some pressure and get some hands in his face. He was able to see and get the ball out of his quick.” On his fumble. “The refs made the...
With two W’s in a row, are the Falcons back? Well ... 
With two W’s in a row, are the Falcons back? Well ... 

The Falcons are 3-4, which is the best you can be after you start 1-4. That’s the good news. The bad news is … well, have you seen anything in two halting home victories that makes you believe a second-half surge is imminent?  Eight days after stopping Tampa Bay on the game’s final play, the Falcons secured victory over the...
More Stories